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May 28th, 2014

Guilty verdict

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Man convicted of indecency

A Claiborne Parish man is awaiting sentencing after a 3rd Judicial District Court jury found him guilty of 10 counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
James Anthony Bell, 50, was convicted of abusing two Ruston girls, both of whom were juveniles at the time of Bell’s arrest in April 2012, Assistant District Attorney Cary Brown said Tuesday.
Bell is being held in the Lincoln Parish Detention Center without bond pending his sentencing on July 22. He faces up to 70 years at hard labor. The jury took just more than 30 minutes to reach its May 21 verdict.

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Teen Challenge sponsors walk

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More than 100 area residents participated in Saturday’s local segment of the Louisiana Teen Challenge Walk to raise awareness for the program and funds for an addition to the Ruston induction center. Teen Challenge is a faith-based organization that helps rehabilitate men, women and families from addictions. Following the walk, participants enjoyed crawfish, corn and potatoes. Vincent Smith (foreground) scoops crawfish while Myles V. Seymour hands a plate to a customer.

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Ruston pool opens

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The City of Ruston’s Municipal Pool will open at 3 p.m. today. The admission is $2 per person. The pool will close for the season on July 25. Throughout the pool season there will be more swimming lessons, beginning on June 2 and June 16. Aqua Zumba classes will be offered at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for $3 per class. For more information,contact the Ruston Parks and Recreation Department at 255-5800 or via email at RPAR@Ruston.org.

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Fatal crash on I-20

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A 32-year-old Ruston man is dead following an apparent hit-and-run pedestrian accident on Interstate 20 this morning.
Police say Coty Willis died when a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Whitney Gaston-Loyd, 21, of Shreveport, hit him. Willis was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 6:30 a.m.
As of mid-morning, investigation into the incident was still underway, Louisiana State Police spokesman Trooper Albert Paxton said. He said Gaston-Loyd was traveling westbound on I-20 when the accident occurred.

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Lincoln Parish falls short in LEAP and iLEAP

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Score percentages drop three points with more rigorous standards

State Superintendent of Schools John White called the results from Louisiana’s LEAP and iLEAP tests “steady” but Lincoln Parish fell three points in the percentage of students who achieved levels of “Basic” and above.
“We expected to see a drop because of the transitions,” said Lincoln Parish School Testing Coordinator Donna Doss. “We’re analyzing individual schools now and summer classes start today so hopefully we can get these students remediated and move forward from here.”

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Dubach man arrested for drugs

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An anonymous tip called into the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office resulted in a Dubach man’s arrest on five drug-related charges May 23.
Richard Craig Dickerson, of 781 Cardinal Hill Road, is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, possession of Soma, illegal carrying of weapons in the commission of a controlled dangerous substance felony and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II drug; marijuana, a Schedule I drug, and the muscle relaxer Soma, a Schedule IV drug.

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Local JA members attend education conference

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“Crowning Moments Last a Lifetime” was the message to members of JA of Ruston at the 73rd Annual Education Conference held May 2-3 at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida. More than 600 ladies were in attendance at this year’s event.
Junior Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization that encourages its members to render charitable services which are beneficial to the general public with particular emphasis on children.

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Arts camps filling up

The North Central Louisiana Arts Council’s annual Summer Arts Camps are filling up for June and July. The camps, for students who have just completed first through sixth grades, are held 9 a.m. until noon Monday – Friday.
Visual arts and drama are taught by artists and art educators; all supplies and a daily snack are included. Weeklong camp tuition is $65.
Camp schedule is as follows:
• Ruston 1, June 23-27 at First Baptist Church, Ruston.
• Jonesboro, July 7-11 at United Methodist Church, Jonesboro.
• Ruston 2, July 14-18 at First Baptist Church, Ruston.

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Ruston Lions Club

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Scott Harkey,  Lion District 8-L Governor was in attendance at a recent noon meeting of the Ruston Lions Club. Harkey spoke about some of the ongoing projects in the district and he presented several service award chevrons.

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Prevent summer brain drain

Though school has only been out for about a week, some parents are likely already hearing the familiar refrain of “I’m bored” coming from their children. School and extracurricular activities keep children’s minds buzzing throughout the school year, which can quickly result in boredom when the summer hits.
Luckily, various organizations across the city and parish offer everything from swimming lessons and tumbling lessons to volleyball and science camps. Though the summer is designed to be a break from classes, it shouldn’t be a break from learning for local children.

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